Charges against Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle – a.k.a. Doc Antle – have not been formally released, however the 62-year-old zookeeper was booked at the J. Reuben Long detention center in Horry County at 5:38 p.m. EDT on Friday afternoon.
“No charges listed,” an arrest record noted.
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(Via: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Antle was being held at the facility at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the jail record noted.
Antle, 62, appeared in the first season of the Netflix hit in 2020 – playing a starring role in a show which scored a whopping 34.3 million viewers during its first ten days of release. The Salinas, California native was also the focus of a follow-up documentary entitled Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story – which aired last December.
Federal officials declined to comment on Antle’s arrest, however sources familiar with the investigation told this news outlet he was facing multiple money laundering charges.
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(Via: YouTube/ FITSNews)
According to my sources, Antle is scheduled to appear in court next Monday afternoon. His charges will be publicly released at that time.
Last month, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a press release urging “federal and state authorities to crack down” on an alleged “charity scam” involving Antle’s Rare Species Fund and his for-profit company, Myrtle Beach Safari.
According to PETA, Antle used charitable funds to “subsidize the for-profit Myrtle Beach Safari.”
The organization called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revoke Antle’s tax-exempt status and “pursue all available civil penalties and criminal charges” against him.
“It’s fitting that ‘Doc’ Antle is behind bars after years of locking up the endangered animals he uses in tawdry photo ops,” PETA associate director Debbie Metzler said in a statement. “His legal woes are mounting, as PETA recently blew the whistle on his apparent ‘charity’ scam, and the end to his reign of terrorizing tiger cubs can’t come soon enough.”
Antle is already facing multiple charges in Virginia, where former attorney general Mark Herring indicted him on two felony counts tied to alleged wildlife trafficking and thirteen other charges. Antle’s daughters – Tawny Antle and Tilakum Watterson – were also charged by Herring’s office.
Antle is scheduled to stand trial in Virginia next month.
UPDATE: As I predicted …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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